At the Archaeological Institute of America meeting this Friday in Seattle, marine archaeologist Brendan Foley of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will report on the first survey of Greece’s famed Antikythera island shipwreck since 1976. The ancient Roman shipwreck was lost off the Greek coast around 67 BC, filled with statues and the famed Antikythera Mechanism, a sophisticated astronomical device that was built using technology believed to have not been available until the 14th century, thousands of years later. Many consider the device to be the world’s oldest computer. The survey team has indicated that the ship is twice as long as they had originally estimated and may contain more Antikythera devices or other important discoveries.
USA Today stressed the importance of the discovery of the Antikythera mechanism:
“It’s a stunning piece of technology that revolutionizes our understanding of the abilities of the ancient Greeks. Nothing close to its complexity is known to have been created for well over a thousand years afterwards, and the emergence of mechanical clocks in medieval Europe.”
Conducted in October 2012, the initial survey shows that the Antikythera is 160 feet long, perched on a undersea slope about 200 feet deep in the Mediterranean Sea. The survey expedition will continue for two more years.